Claire Knowles, Employment law Partner at Acuity Law

Employment & HR

Lead Partner

Employers are confronted daily with a range of human resource issues. For employers with cross-border operations, these issues become even more complex.

Managing the commercial pressures of running a business and getting the people part of the business right can be a delicate balance.

We help senior teams and HR professionals at every stage of the employment lifecycle, whether it’s immediate operational support as individual problems arise, strategic advice on organisational development or implementing preventative measures and solutions.

We also work closely with clients on workforce and performance issues, such as HR audits, in-house training and executive coaching programmes.

Working with FTSE listed companies, SMEs, public bodies and not-for-profit organisations, our clients rely on our technical expertise and pragmatic, no-nonsense advice to help them mitigate risk and achieve their business goals. We also advise individuals on executive service agreements and settlement agreements.

We cover all aspects of employment law and people management:

  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Employee relations management
  • Business transfers, outsourcing and TUPE
  • Restructures and redundancies
  • Employment tribunal claims
  • Strategic workforce and succession planning
  • Share scheme and option arrangements
  • Employee status and atypical working
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Pay, reward and benefits
  • Mediation and dispute resolution
  • Contractual arrangements and policy documents


  • Advising a global engineering group on various contractual issues, policies and procedures, working time regulations, restrictive covenants, industrial action and employment tribunal claims
  • Advising a manufacturing company on employment status issues as part of its global operations
  • Advising a leading fintech company on settlement agreements and negotiations following a restructure
  • Advising a private European investment firm on strategic people management issues within its group companies, including exit arrangements for a number of directors and shareholders
  • Advising a premium shower manufacturer on its employee relations, including pregnancy and maternity rights, disciplinary and grievances and a breach of contract
  • Advising a global shipping and maritime company on sickness absence management, TUPE, employment status and performance management
  • Advising international businesses in the creative industries on sexual harassment allegations, other grievances and an employment tribunal claim for constructive unfair dismissal
  • Advising a leading high-tech manufacturer on sickness absence management, dismissal processes and an employment tribunal claim
  • Advising a sports business on a restructuring process, TUPE and a disciplinary investigation
  • Advising a company in the health and social care sector on staffing issues and complex disciplinary action
  • Advising various employers on GDPR compliant policies and procedures
  • Advising a local authority on employment tribunal claims over allegations of constructive unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, whistleblowing, victimisation and harassment


  • The Employment team is ranked Band 2 in Chambers & Partners.

  • The Employment team is ranked Tier 3 in The Legal 500.

Words from our clients

  • “The team has spent time to understand our business and build strong relationships. I am as comfortable contacting the employment team at Acuity as I would be contacting a department within my business.”

  • “When I work with the Acuity employment team it feels like I am working with any other section of my in house legal team. They integrate seamlessly, orient to the issue and present solutions on behalf of the organisation, rather than just a lawyer advising a client.”

  • “I fundamentally trust the team is because they are moulded in the image of their exceptional leader. Claire has that magical combination of a law library in her head, availability that suggests she has more hours in the day than other people, and a success rate to be envied.” – Matt Phillips, Monmouthshire council

  • The employment legal team at the firm has been expanding which, from our impression, has resulted in the development of a strong, energised and dynamic team.

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